Picture This: Laker Fans Are Upset Again
What an absolute slap in the face to the Laker fans in Southern California to open the paper Christmas morning and see a picture of Shaq on the front page of the Sports section!
I can tell you it ruined my morning. You could have at least printed a picture of Kobe and Shaq, but not just Shaq!
Say what you will about Kobe Bryant: cold, calculating, standoffish, reclusive. But Shaq’s pettiness is obnoxious.
First, he totally ignores Kobe at tipoff so he can get all the attention. This was followed by refusing to answer postgame questions regarding Kobe so he could show everybody how hurt and unappreciated he is, and then made that covertly hostile Merry Christmas gesture to all the fans he “thinks” he has.
Yeah, the Big This. The Big Baby!
Mark Heisler again hits the nail on the head with regards to Kobe, Shaq and Jerry Buss.
Dr. Buss was in a lose-lose situation with two very immature and arrogant superstars. I do believe that the Shaq-Kobe combo had run its course and would not have yielded any more championships. So trading the Big Krispy Kreme was the right thing to do.
However, the downside was that they got so little in return. What Dr. Buss should have done is told Shaq to shut up with his trade demand until he found a better deal and called Kobe’s bluff on jumping to the Clippers.
Do you think Kobe really would have taken $40 million less in light of all his Colorado legal fees and out-of-court settlement?
Kobe Bryant has a lower field-goal percentage this year than Lamar Odom, Smush Parker, Chris Mihm and Brian Cook.
So instead of questioning whether Kobe should trust his teammates to shoot the ball, perhaps we should ask whether his teammates should trust Kobe.
I saw the Laker game Wednesday night. Same story: Kobe taking 37 shots and making 13. When a player is taking this amount of shots, it means that he doesn’t know how to play a team game.
If Kobe wants to be the greatest player in the league, he better learn to play a team game.
The problem with the Lakers has nothing to do with other players -- besides Kobe Bryant -- not “stepping-up.” The problem with the Lakers is that Kobe Bryant can be the most selfish player in basketball, consistently having games where he takes greater than 30 shots while shooting in the vicinity of 30%.
When Kobe makes up his mind to shoot, it does not matter what the other players are doing, he is going to shoot.
In Wednesday’s game versus Memphis, after Kobe was hit on the forehead creating a gash that temporarily took him out of the game, he vowed to return to play one-on-five basketball.
As usual, this pathetic play was the only reason for the Lakers’ loss. When Kobe passes the ball, the Lakers usually win. When Kobe only cares about Kobe, they usually lose.
Corona del Mar
Let me see if I have this straight, Commissioner Stern. The game between last year’s NBA finalists, Detroit and San Antonio, is the warm-up game and a game between two also-rans, the Lakers and Heat, is the marquee.
It is no wonder that a league featuring Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal is in dire straits. Nobody really cares if two ingrates who will never win a ring without the other can’t stand each other.
MARK S. ROTH
Don’t be fooled. Kobe’s shooting performance, from the field and at the free-throw line, was why the Lakers lost three straight games. Wednesday night’s performance was the most selfish and pathetic I have seen. Kobe just doesn’t get it.
It would be fun if the other four players on the floor wouldn’t even cross the half-court line. Maybe then he would get it.
But then again, knowing Kobe, he would just think he was faster and working harder than his teammates.
GENO M. APICELLA